Post List

Social Science posts

(Modify Search »)

  • January 3, 2011
  • 11:18 AM

Learn from Christine O'Donnell's Possible 'Witch Trial': Be Cautious in the Court of Public Opinion

by Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm in Persuasive Litigator

By: Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm - When Christine O'Donnell, the Tea Party favorite who won the Republican nomination for a Delaware Senate seat before losing in November's general election, received word of an U.S. Attorney's Office investigation and possible charges stemming from misuse of about $20,000 in campaign funds to pay her personal expenses, she immediately took to the airwaves. On a variety of network and cable news shows, she unequivocally denied the charges and went further to call the inves........ Read more »

Michele DeStefano Beardslee. (2009) Advocacy in the Court of Public Opinion, Installment One: Broadening the Role of Corporate Attorneys. The Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics, 22(4). info:/

  • January 3, 2011
  • 09:30 AM

So maybe reading *should* be harder

by gameswithwords in Games with Words

Some weeks back I chided Jonah Lehrer for his assertion that he'd
love [e-readers] to include a feature that allows us to undo their ease, to make the act of reading just a little bit more difficult. Perhaps we need to alter the fonts, or reduce the contrast, or invert the monochrome color scheme. Our eyes will need to struggle, and we’ll certainly read slower, but that’s the point: Only then will we process the text a little less unconsciously, with less reliance on the ventral pathway. We ........ Read more »

Connor Diemand-Yauman, Daniel M. Oppenheimer, & Erikka B. Vaughan. (2011) Fortune favors the bold (and the italicized): Effects of disfluency on educational outcomes. Cognition, 111-115. info:/doi:10.1016/j.cognition.2010.09.012

  • January 3, 2011
  • 07:04 AM

The secret life of fonts

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

The new book, Typography for Lawyers, has been getting a lot of attention for encouraging more attractive font in legal communications. The book is getting rave reviews from attorneys who realize that part of persuasion is visual presentation. And we think Matthew Butterick (the author) is onto something. Perhaps he’s been reading social sciences research along [...]

Related posts:Secret Weapon: The Chairs in the Jury Box?
But they did it on purpose!
You’re not too old for a story (but yo........ Read more »

Juni S, & Gross JS. (2008) Emotional and persuasive perception of fonts. Perceptual and motor skills, 106(1), 35-42. PMID: 18459353  

  • January 2, 2011
  • 05:57 PM

Computers and the Homeless

by FrauTech in Design. Build. Play.

Everyone knows there's a big gap in worldwide between the have and the have nots in one area: internet access. A new study looked at that gap where you would expect to see it in an obvious way. They looked at computer and internet use in homeless populations in the Philadelphia area. The results are somewhat surprising. Right now 58% of households have some kind of computer and 76% of these households have access to the internet. Of the homeless population they reported an average homeless ........ Read more »

  • January 2, 2011
  • 09:12 AM

How Gay Men Talk About Depression

by Ultimo167 in Strong Silent Types

40 gay men interviewed about how they 'construct' depression revealed several co-existing tensions, notably between individual agency and medical orthodoxy, hegemonic masculinity. The findings of this study by Korner et al. (2010) were used to inform general practitioners on how to improve their practice with gay men who might be depressed. ... Read more »

  • January 2, 2011
  • 12:09 AM

Preparing for unexpected opportunities in Borneo

by Noam Ross in Noam Ross

Source: dinesh_valke on FlickrConservation Letters has an article about a situation in Borneo that illustrates how sudden, unpredictable events in ecology are not always bad.  In the past year, the island's forests have undergone an ecosystem-wide event known as "general flowering," where trees of many species produce seeds and fruit in massive amounts.  These events occur rarely (the last was 12 years ago), and in the years in between few seeds are produced and few new trees........ Read more »

Kettle, C., Ghazoul, J., Ashton, P., Cannon, C., Chong, L., Diway, B., Faridah, E., Harrison, R., Hector, A., Hollingsworth, P.... (2010) Seeing the fruit for the trees in Borneo. Conservation Letters. DOI: 10.1111/j.1755-263X.2010.00161.x  

  • December 31, 2010
  • 05:54 PM

Pandemic Influenza: 1510 – 2010

by Michelle Ziegler in Contagions

My first clue on the existence of specific influenza pandemics before 1918 came a few years ago while reading some local newspapers on the Spanish Flu itself. The papers were warning people that this was not an ordinary flu year, it would be like 1893! The papers referred to 1893 in the same way that [...]... Read more »

  • December 31, 2010
  • 07:02 AM

2010 in review: Aging brains, money, happiness, and a bris exception

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

As trial consultants, we are always on the lookout for new nuggets of useful information. Some of them are true wisdom and some… let’s just say ‘not so much’. Generally, we share only the really good stuff with you but sometimes we regress a bit. And this is one of those times. Hang on! Despite [...]

Related posts:The Jury Expert for May 2010 is uploaded
Bummer! Our brains do decline with age…but there is good news
An uncivil union: Being ‘heard’
... Read more »

Gervais, S. J.,, Hillard, A. , & Vescio, T. K. (2010) Confronting sexism: The role of relationship orientation and gender. . Sex Roles, 463-474. info:/

Kraus MW, Côté S, & Keltner D. (2010) Social class, contextualism, and empathic accuracy. Psychological science : a journal of the American Psychological Society / APS, 21(11), 1716-23. PMID: 20974714  

  • December 29, 2010
  • 04:03 PM

Using Google to Tell Real Science from Fads

by David Berreby in Mind Matters

Most hot ideas and discoveries fade with time. But some scientific papers are genuine breakthroughs, whose importance only increases as the decades pass. This one, published in Science last week, which describes a database of words from millions of books digitized by Google—4 percent of all books ...Read More
... Read more »

  • December 29, 2010
  • 08:46 AM

Bouncing Babies Betray Awareness of Others’ Beliefs

by Scicurious in Neurotic Physiology

…if only I could have found synonyms for “awareness” and “adult” or “other person” that started with B…my life is eternally unfulfilled now. Today’s post on babies is dedicated to Glendon Mellow of the Flying Trilobite, who just yesterday welcomed a bouncing TriloBoy! Congratulations to Glendon!!! That’s going to be one amazingly awesome family. (Not [...]... Read more »

  • December 29, 2010
  • 04:44 AM

What’s the actual size of your personal social network? Some numbers

by ---a in

In 1992 Robin Dunbar proposed a rough estimate of 150. But the "Dunbar's number" pretty much doubled in 1998, when Peter Killworth suggested a mean personal network size of 290. And in 2010 that number doubled again, as Matthew Salganik came up with 610 personal. So who says 1,200?... Read more »

Bickart, K., Wright, C., Dautoff, R., Dickerson, B., & Barrett, L. (2010) Amygdala volume and social network size in humans. Nature Neuroscience. DOI: 10.1038/nn.2724  

Killworth, P., Johnsen, E., Bernard, H. R., Shelley, G., & McCarty, C. (1990) Estimating the size of personal networks. Social Networks, 12(4), 289-312. DOI: 10.1016/0378-8733(90)90012-X  

McCormick, T., Salganik, M., & Zheng, T. (2010) How Many People Do You Know?: Efficiently Estimating Personal Network Size. Journal of the American Statistical Association, 105(489), 59-70. DOI: 10.1198/jasa.2009.ap08518  

  • December 29, 2010
  • 02:00 AM

The Obama administration sparks a renewed interest in climate change policy

by SAGE Insight in SAGE Insight

The Western Climate Initiative From State and Local Government Review Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is one of the greatest challenges the world will face in the coming decades. Renewed interest from the Obama administration along with continuing regional and local actions have raised awareness among US constituents and their representatives concerning this issue. Policymakers at [...]... Read more »

Warren, D., & Tomashefsky, S. (2009) The Western Climate Initiative. State and Local Government Review, 41(1), 55-60. DOI: 10.1177/0160323X0904100107  

  • December 28, 2010
  • 01:29 PM

Detecting facial emotions: Women vs Men

by Psychothalamus in Psychothalamus

Do women really recognize facial emotion better than men? Existing literature on the subject remains contradictory with some studies showing a female advantage (albeit with small effect sizes) and others failing to find any gender differences. Hoffman and colleagues (2010) suggest that expression intensity is an important factor mediating gender differences in recognizing emotions and that while women do recognize facial emotions better than men, this advantage only exists for subtle emotional f........ Read more »

  • December 28, 2010
  • 11:40 AM

Does music make you smarter?

by Henkjan Honing in Music Matters

The next few weeks there will be no new entries in this blog. However, I hope to see some of you on 19 January 2011 when Glenn Schellenberg will give a lecture at the Cognitive Science Center Amsterdam (CSCA) of the University of Amsterdam with the title Does music make you smarter? As the announcement states:'Music listening and music lessons have been claimed to confer intellectual advantages. The available evidence indicates that music listening leads to enhanced performance on a variety of ........ Read more »

SCHELLENBERG, E., & PERETZ, I. (2008) Music, language and cognition: unresolved issues. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 12(2), 45-46. DOI: 10.1016/j.tics.2007.11.005  

  • December 27, 2010
  • 10:51 PM

Meme Theory Today (NSFW)

by Neurobonkers in Neurobonkers

A look at how meme theory can explain the wide spread misquotation of it's own "inventor" Richard Dawkins.... Read more »

  • December 27, 2010
  • 06:58 PM

Understand Juror Bias, But Bet On The Evidence

by Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm in Persuasive Litigator

By: Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm - As closing arguments finished in a recent employment jury trial that I sat through, the defense team and I felt, predictably, that we had the overwhelming weight of evidence on our side of the case. But still, we worried as the jury filed in to deliberate. We had faced a Plaintiff's case based on the single simple appeal that a big heartless company will always try to squash the little guy and cover up its tracks in the process, and supported that narrative with nothing ........ Read more »

Joshua Warren, Deanna Kuhn . (2010) How do jurors argue with one another?. Judgment and Decision Making, 5(1), 64-71. info:/

  • December 27, 2010
  • 07:02 AM

Mistrials due to lawyers making faces, internet misconduct & more

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

Even though we have been hearing about (and writing about) jurors and the internet for a several years now—it was still something of a shock to see the ABA piece identifying 90 verdicts challenged due to jurors’ alleged internet misconduct. We wrote an article on Jurors and the Internet in The Jury Expert back in November [...]

Related posts:It’s not just jurors who are doing it
Educating Jurors: How NOT to start deliberations
Deliberations & the role of the presiding juror
... Read more »

CATHERINE C. ECKEL, ENRIQUE FATAS, & RICK WILSON. (2010) Cooperation and Status in Organizations. Journal of Public Economic Theory, 12(4). info:/

  • December 27, 2010
  • 06:35 AM

Does Peer Review Work?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

Scientific peer review is based on the idea that some papers deserve to get published and others don't.By asking a hand-picked team of 3 or 4 experts in the field (the "peers"), journals hope to accept the good stuff, filter out the rubbish, and improve the not-quite-good-enough papers.This all assumes that the reviewers, being experts, are able to make a more or less objective judgement. In other words, when a reviewer says that a paper's good or bad, they're reporting something about the paper........ Read more »

  • December 26, 2010
  • 10:03 PM

England, Prepare to be Brainwashed

by Neurobonkers in Neurobonkers

A review of a study on the correlation between FOX news consumption and levels of misinformation in light of news that the owner of FOX news is planning to by the SKY news agency in the UK.... Read more »

CLAY RAMSAY, STEVEN KULL, EVAN LEWIS, & STEFAN SUBIA. (2010) Misinformation and the 2010 Election. WORLDPUBLICOPINION.ORG. info:/

  • December 24, 2010
  • 07:07 AM

Simple Jury Persuasion: Are those folks in the jury box thinkers or feelers?

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

Here’s a nice and very simple persuasion tactic first presented at PsyBlog in their ongoing series on 10 forms of persuasion. They cite the recent work of Nicole Mayer & Zakary Tormala (2010) and discuss the natural tendency we have to see the world (and thus describe it) via either thinking (useless or useful) or [...]

Related posts:Simple Jury Persuasion: I’m too smart to fall for that!
Simple Jury Persuasion: You may want to disagree with this post
Simple Jury Persuasion: Don’t co........ Read more »

Mayer ND, & Tormala ZL. (2010) "Think" versus "feel" framing effects in persuasion. Personality and social psychology bulletin, 36(4), 443-54. PMID: 20363901  

join us!

Do you write about peer-reviewed research in your blog? Use to make it easy for your readers — and others from around the world — to find your serious posts about academic research.

If you don't have a blog, you can still use our site to learn about fascinating developments in cutting-edge research from around the world.

Register Now

Research Blogging is powered by SMG Technology.

To learn more, visit